Archives for posts with tag: dancing

After an aborted attempt at a house move in August (lost our buyer so I lost the house I was buying), I felt very low.  I was hanging on, believing that I only had a few more weeks to get through so when it all fell through, it hit me really hard and I felt both physically and emotionally exhausted.  I had trouble concentrating on anything, work was a struggle, and day-to-day living under the same roof with my STBEx became an even more stressful experience.

Now we have another buyer and I have made an offer on another house, which has been accepted.  Our buyers want to move quickly so I’ve said we’ll vacate even if my purchase hasn’t gone through but I’m just hoping that somehow it all comes together at the same time.  The whole situation is giving me sleepless nights – made worse by the fact that it’s been two years since I’ve had a bed to sleep in and I’m on the sofa or in my daughter’s bed.  In the middle of the night, my thoughts run wild with all sorts of problems and scenarios racing through my mind.  Then the next day, I’m exhausted and feel down, negative, anxious, all of which is made worse by extreme tiredness.  Then because I’m a fighter, and an optimist, my mood lifts and I feel positive and happy – it’s a rollercoaster.

Living in the same house as the person you’re divorcing is a surreal experience, made difficult by the fact that he blames me for everything. Sometimes he speaks to me as if everything is normal, then there’s a hugh blow up, then there’s the silent treatment, and so the cycle continues.  Somehow I manage to detach from this – most of the time anyway.  I much stronger than I used to be.  But I don’t have a home I can relax in.  I spend my days outside the house, but then I can’t get on with my life properly.  It’s not easy to say the least.  I feel as if I’m a ghost in my own life.

But despite this I’m relatively happy.  There are lots of positives in my life.  Although I have my dark days, and although they are becoming more frequent, I hold on to the hope that sometime next year, and sooner rather than later, I will be in my own place and my daughters and I (and our new addition, my daughter’s dog) will be living the life that we want: a life that is not controlled by someone else’s anger and abuse, in a happy home where there is fun and laughter, and family and friends are welcome.

In the meantime, to keep myself sane, I enjoy socialising, reading, writing, walking in the park, yoga and pilates, holidays and…

Dancing with another.

 

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When I was a child, I used to feel sad when Christmas and the New Year were over. For some strange reason, I also used to feel afraid. Although I can understand why a child would feel sad that the fun and festivities had come to an end, the feeling of fear doesn’t quite make sense. It was a fear of a whole blank year stretching out ahead; it was a fear of the unknown; it was a fear that the happiness wouldn’t return; it was mourning the loss of an oasis, when the ordinary, everyday could be forgotten.  But wasn’t it strange for a child to experience that fear?

Then I grew up, got married, became a mother, took on more and more responsibility, especially that of making Christmas special for everybody (alone, as husband just sat back), and it became stressful. There was a pressure to get it perfect, that I was responsible for everyone else’s enjoyment; irrational, but there all the same.  And that took away the pleasure for me and I always breathed a sigh of relief when I took down the Christmas cards and put away the tree. Now I only had the normal, everyday pressures to deal with – alone.

Today I’ve started thinking about that childhood mourning. Why? Why for the first time since my early teens has it come into my head?

Because I’ve just removed all signs of Christmas and instead of feeling the normal relief, I feel sad and afraid and I’m mourning the loss of the oasis that has been the past two weeks. Why? Why this return of those childhood feelings?

To begin with, although Christmas was sad, because we weren’t together as the proper family we should be, which is my fault because I’m ‘the one who is splitting up the family’, it was also happy. Happy because I spent time with my children, and my sister, and my friends, and a special friend. And I didn’t even attempt to make anything perfect because there was no way it could be made perfect so why bother trying?  And in a funny kind of way, that made it better. I didn’t have to do everything alone, I didn’t have to slave away feeling resentful while husband sat there with his feet up, I didn’t have to persuade him to come out with us or join in, I didn’t have to put up with his drinking or sitting miserably with my family and wanting to go home. I forgot all about him and got on with my life.

I spent time with people who want to be with me. I went walking with my sister and her dog and a friend on more than one occasion, ending up in cosy pubs, drinking mulled wine.  I went to London with my daughter, visited Covent Garden, saw the Christmas tree in Trafalgar Square and had lunch.  I went to the theatre with a friend, heading to the West End on the off chance we’d get tickets for something, and we did and I had a great spontaneous evening. I went out for breakfast and lunch with my daughters and we talked about our lives and our hopes.

And it was an oasis in a difficult time and I could forget about my problems for a couple of weeks. But now it’s back to reality and the year ahead contains so much uncertainty and husband doesn’t want to discuss things so communication is impossible and it’s always down to me to instigate difficult conversations and I’m mourning the limbo land of the holiday season.

But when I took down the tree, I thought: hopefully, next year, this tree will be going up in my new place: a place where family and friends will be welcome, and laughter and fun will be allowed.

So, despite my circumstances being difficult, I had a much happier, better Christmas and New Year than I’ve had for a long time.  I spent time with people who mean a lot to me and I went…

dancing with another.

It’s my birthday today. A time for celebration?  Well, yes, but…

I feel sad. I feel happy too, but I also feel like crying.

I feel like crying because I’ve been thinking about my birthdays over the past few years.  In 2011, a significant birthday, I went to a London show, Priscilla Queen of the Desert, with my husband and daughters.  I got a deal for a meal and best available price tickets and, would you believe it, they gave us a box!  It was a great night, but I organised it and paid for it and had to persuade husband to come, but who cares?  It was good.

In 2012, it my birthday fell on the day of the Christmas party at the dance studio where husband and I had been having ballroom lessons.  By this time, husband had stopped attending the lessons, but I was hooked and kept going on my own.  He very, very reluctantly agreed to come to the party. He sat in the same seat all night, looking miserable, and refusing to socialise, making it quite obvious that he didn’t want to be there and had only come because it was my birthday. I enjoyed myself because I’m that kind of person but it’s not a good feeling to be out with someone who obviously isn’t enjoying themself. It darkens the evening.

Last year we were supposed to be going out, where I don’t know. But a couple of days before he started making noises about him having to finish work early and the expense.  The expense!  I don’t need money lavished on me to have a good time. Anyway, to put him out of his misery, I told him not to bother. So he didn’t.  I had lunch with a friend and went dancing with another friend in the evening.  Husband didn’t even ask me what I’d done or if I’d had a good time. When I raised that with him later, he said he hadn’t asked because he didn’t care.

And presents?  He asks my daughter to get me something from him.  My daughter and I went along with this charade of her buying me something and us both pretending it was from him.  Until last year.  Last year, she gave me ‘his’ present of lacy underwear and I knew this wasn’t from him because the last time I put on lacy underwear, he asked me what the f**k I was doing and switched on Sky Sport (that was on a weekend away!). Then later on he saw the bag from the shop where she’d bought the gift and asked me who’d been shopping there. You, I told him, for my birthday present. He later chastised my daughter for not warning him. Should we laugh or cry?  Who knows.

So these are my past few birthdays.  Yet I am responsible and completely to blame for the failure of this relationship.

Little wonder I feel like crying.

But I’m also happy.  Friends who know about my situation have sent me cards and I know the messages have been chosen especially to show me their love and support.  And people I’ve only known for a short space of time show me such kindness when they really don’t have to at all, they have no obligation to, but they do it because they care.

And who knows when my divorce will come through and what I’ll be doing this time next year.

At the moment, I’m out having breakfast on my own and thinking about the past and thinking about the future and feeling sad and feeling happy and feeling…

Alive.

 

To say that the past 18 months have been difficult would be an understatement.

I slowly unfurled the truth of my ‘marriage’ and what I was allowing to happen to me.  I  voiced my concerns, tried to get things back on track, attempted to have my needs recognised, and in return…an onslaught of abuse, name calling, blaming and nastiness.

I sought counselling, I stopped concealing the truth from family, friends and strangers, I read everything I could to aid my understanding…until I felt strong again.

Two weeks ago, I told husband we needed either to devise a plan to live together separately or to actually separate.

And for the first time in years of trying to talk to him about our situation and meeting a brick wall, I became aware that he was listening to me.. He was listening because he knew I meant what I was saying and he didn’t like what he was hearing.  He didn’t want to accept it.  He wanted to try again, to put things right.  Why wouldn’t I give him a second(?) chance. It was my fault the relationship was ending because he wanted to try again and I didn’t!

But for me it’s too late.  I don’t believe he can do it.  I don’t believe he wants me for who I am only what I provide for him. In my mind, we are now separated.

He’s angry and nasty – which does nothing to suggest that he wants ME. If he wanted me, he would be kind and caring and affectionate, but he’s made it clear there will be no more affection in this relationship and he’s made no gesture to suggest that things will be different.  And if he can’t pull out all the stops when the chips are down, then he’s never going to, is he?

And so I’m getting on with my life and cutting the ties that bind.

And dancing…

 

That’s the accusation that’s frequently hurled at me.  And it hurts.  It hurts because I try not to be a selfish person, but then if doing something I enjoy means I’m selfish, then I’m guilty as charged.

I’ve spent six hours today helping a family member of his.  I did this willingly.  This person old and vulnerable and has always been very kind to me.  In fact, in recent years, she is the only person who has ever cooked me a meal, acknowledging that I work hard and deserve it.  Did husband thank me for changing my plans, incurring costs and giving up my time?  Well, you know the answer to that?  Did he acknowledge my actions in any way?  Of course not.

He didn’t give up his day – yet I’m selfish.

Tonight I didn’t go to my weekly dance class, the class we started together but he gave up after a few months.  Perhaps he felt uncomfortable at holding me in his arms because he doesn’t want any physical contact with me.  Anyway, the fact that I’ve kept going has been causing tension between us and this is beginning to outweigh the pleasure I get from it.  It’s starting not to be worth the hassle.

Did husband acknowledge or thank me for not going?  He came in, ate his dinner, switched the TV on, then half an hour later said he was going to bed.  It was 9.30pm.

And that was it.

He didn’t make any effort with me – yet I’m selfish.

He says he wants me at home but I can’t understand why.  His actions show indifference.

I can’t understand what he gets out of the relationship.  How can what we have be satisfying for him?  Yet he says he doesn’t want to lose me.  Why not?  He doesn’t want me.  This just doesn’t make any sense to me.

I long to be held and hugged and kissed and treated as a …  I can’t even think of the right word: equal? human being? person? partner? friend? lover?  Isn’t that what a relationship, marriage, is all about?

Instead I just feel like the bad guy.

The selfish bad guy.

The break is over and it was fantastic!

Why?

Because I could completely relax.  I didn’t have to worry about doing or saying the wrong thing.  I didn’t have to worry about being disapproved of.  I didn’t have to worry about treading on eggshells.  I didn’t have to worry about predicting someone else’s reactions.  I didn’t have to cope with someone else’s moods and negativity.  I didn’t have to apologise for being me.

I spent three weeks with my 17 year old daughter and we both had a wonderful time.  We were together 24/7 and we got on brilliantly.  We were spontaneous.  We took no notice of the time.  We laughed and enjoyed ourselves.  We ate out, we slept when we wanted to, we went dancing, we listened to music, we painted the house.  It was so easy.

Husband and I had no contact.  He didn’t text me and I didn’t text him.  I had a warmer welcome back from my dancing friend than I did him.

When I was away, I felt liberated, free to be myself, and it was wonderful.

But now it’s back to the same old…

And I’m on edge, but fighting the feeling, reminding myself that there’s nothing wrong with living and being happy.

Life is precious and must be celebrated!

 

It’s nearly time to jet off and away.

The past few days have been calm.  I’ve felt different.

I’ve been feeling strong and unaffected by anything he could try to do to me.  Because it’s been calm, I’ve found myself wondering at times whether I have been imagining everything; then I remember the stuff I’ve read and understand that this is part of the process.

I don’t know what will happen when I return home, but I’m planning on using the break to make myself even stronger.

I am strong, I am invincible, I am woman. *

And now I’m going to get ready to go dancing.

 

* As you’ve probably noticed, I love music and as I was writing this post, a song that I remember hearing as a child came into my head.  I checked out the lyrics – very appropriate.

 

Dance

Dance (Photo credit: Nuno Duarte)

I’ve been dancing with anothers tonight.

Husband won’t come dancing with me anymore and hasn’t done for over a year now, even though it was a hobby we started together and he used to enjoy.

I didn’t want to give it up – dancing is really good for you on so many levels: it’s exercise, it’s social, it’s fun, it allows you to express yourself through the music, it makes you laugh when you get it wrong, it makes you feel fantastic when you get it right.

Recently I’ve had the confidence to move up to the advanced class and, as a result, I’m getting to know the better dancers and am taking the opportunity to dance with them rather than heading in the opposite direction because I don’t think I can cope.  It’s a great feeling when you connect with someone through the music and your dancing styles match.  You forget about everything and get lost in the moment.  (It is of course not me in the photo, but this is what I feel like during a good dance!)

So I’ve had a lovely evening – dancing with anothers.

 

I didn’t sleep well last night, needless to say, and then this morning I tried to engage in a calm and rational discussion about our situation but it quickly descended into another argument.

He refuses to seek outside help – I think he would benefit from discussing his take on things with a third party but, being a typical man, he is adamant that he won’t.  He says that if we can’t discuss and sort things out between us, with no outside intervention, then there’s no point continuing.  He says I should seek help because I’m the one with the problem.  I told him that I already had, which shocked him.  I read some extracts from Andrew G Marshall’s books which explain my feelings and got quite emotional when doing so.  I think that had a slight impact.

Now he’s gone out and I feel exhausted.  I’m also back to feeling guilty and to blame – which is not a good place to be.

I’m furious at some of the things he complained about, namely:

The fact that my sister came round last week and I didn’t tell him she was coming.  It was arranged about an hour before and he was at work.  Incidentally, my sister commented that she hadn’t set foot inside our house for ages.

The fact that I use my phone a lot.  Yes, that’s true, because I have apps with errands lists, shopping lists, reminders, calendars – so I’m generally just organising the smooth-running of the household.  And I do look at Facebook and check emails as well but only once or twice a day.

The fact that he feels excluded.  How many times do we have to go through this one?  I pointed out that when he comes in, he doesn’t even say ‘hello’ and that this is a small indication of how he is excluding himself.

The fact that I don’t physically go to the supermarket but order online instead, a process which saves money because you stick to your list, and is of course convenient.

And ones where I can see his point but I have my reasons for doing them:

I read.  Yes, true.  But probably for a maximum of one hour a day, usually when he’s watching TV, and not every day.  Reading is a solitary pastime, unless you discuss what you read, but he’s not interested.

I go dancing without him.  Yes, true.  But he refuses to come and I enjoy it and when I stopped going, I just sat at home whilst he watched TV before falling asleep and then waking up and going to bed.  He says we don’t go out together because I go out alone.  No, no, no.  I go our alone because he doesn’t want to go out together.  In fact, he’d said he wanted to see a play and I booked the tickets, not wanting to miss this rare opportunity, but he didn’t acknowledge or thank me for doing this.  Not that I’m bothered about being thanked anymore.

I go to the gym.  Yes, true.  I want to remain fit and active for as long as possible so I do yoga for well-being and pilates for mobility and to delay joint and muscular problems.  I do other stuff to tone me up, keep me in shape and to enhance my cardio-vascular system.  Surely that’s better than sitting on the sofa eating junk food and putting on weight?  Incidentally, just last week, he commented that I wasn’t back to my pre-baby weight!

I am so frustrated that everything is being turned against me.

I’m wondering if he’s passive-aggressive.

Would a life without him be easier than a life with him?

I’m drained.

 

 

“Someone who figures that taking a step backward

after taking a step forward

is not a disaster,

it’s a cha-cha.”           (Robert Brault)

 

That’s me!